Comments on my previous post by Livininsanity evolved into a discussion on what would be a manly way to die. While I have an intuitive understanding of this, after thinking on it for a while, I decided it needs some discussion to bring clarity to the subject, since it is rife with subtleties. By which I mean that, while two men may die in the same manner, a car crash for instance, one may die a manly death, such as a NASCAR driver who blows a tire and smashes into the wall at 180 MPH, or a non-manly death, such as someone who has a six pack or so too much and still tries to drive home and smashes into a bus full of nuns and orphans causing both vehicles to explode into giant fireballs with much resulting destruction.
With that in mind, I would say that a prerequisite for any manly death is that some element of manliness be incorporated into the circumstances preceding the event. Thus, the following list assumes that the individual passing on was engaged in meeting an obligation or duty, serving his country, responding to an emergency, preforming some professional service, or something along those lines. So, the top ten most manly ways to die, from most to least manly, are:
1. Combat in service to your country.
2. Trying to save/protect a stranger.
3. Trying to save/protect a friend.
4. Trying to save/protect a pet.
5. Trying to save/protect a family member.
6. Defending your honor.
7. Defending the rights of others.
8. Defending your rights.
9. Furthering science.
10. Just working.
You should note that the details of this don’t matter that much. Shot by a snipper while unloading a supply truck, or cut down while charging a machine gun nest. Getting beat to death while trying to stop the school bully from picking on the small kid, or getting run over after pushing the cell phone guy out of the path of a bus. Falling into the lava flow while taking a sample, or a slip with a needle in the infectious disease lab. Shot by the police for questioning their warrentless entry, or shot by an intruder while wrestling for his gun. When push comes to shove, it’s individual intent that matters.